Political Intimidation & Traditional Hunt, APC District PRO On The Run

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September 27, 2018

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The District Public Relations Officer of the All Peoples Congress Kenema Branch, Eastern Region, Imran Mustapha Kanneh, is on double wanted list and on the run after been declared wanted by irate Sierra Leone People Party militia who are presently disturbing the peace of ordinary citizens in the country as well as traditional leaders.

Kanneh who is well known for his love and outspokenness and fearless attitude towards his support and commitment for his political party in the strong hold of the then opposition and now ruling party, SLPP has been spotted on many occasion defending the APC party and has always provided many supports to the APC and helped them increased in number of voters during the March 7 general elections.

His moves and physical presence has been noticed by SLPP supporters in that part of the country that lead the SLPP supporters to not only seek for his head with many death threats after they won the election, but also false allegation against him. As if those threats were anything to go by, Kanneh is presently on the run as his residence was attacked, ransacked and destroyed and his family highly affected and is also on the hide.

In September 2018, the APC District Public Relations Officer was arrested because he was vocal against their violent conduct against their action and work and the post-election violence continue to increase as supporters of APC, the party which lost power to the ruling SLPP, have been intimidated and subjected to serious beating.

Aside the Political Intimidation, Kanneh is also wanted by traditional leaders and society men because of his vocal against the Female Genital Mutilation, FGM in Kenema which they consider as traditional and because he oppose to them, he has been consider as enemy trying to expose their work, and has lead them to chase his daughter, and wife to forcefully initiate them while he is wanted to forcefully join the Poro Society.

Political violence and intimidation have become serious concerns in the country, it is on record that over 2000 APC supporters who were residing in Kono were forced to flee from the district and sought refuge at Masingbi town in the Tonkolili District. They were hosted by Paramount Chief Kanagbarrow.

However, reports coming from different parts of the country state that APC supporters have been subjected to political intimidation and some even killed.

The intimidation is mostly rife in the strongholds of the SLPP. The South and East of Sierra Leone are considered to be strongholds of the SLPP and those areas have a considerable number of Mende tribesmen most of whom are 95% SLPP.

In an interview with some close friend and other party supporters of Kanneh, mthey expressed how the young man is been targeted because of him being a staunch APC supporter. He is presently a wanted man because of him being an active and prominent APC supporter.  His safety and whereabouts, according remain unknown.

Speaking on behalf of the SLPP Government, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay said his party is worried about the spate of political intimidation and harassment unleashed against APC supporters. “We have advised our supporters from harassing and intimidating people and we want our supporters to understand that supporters of APC are also Sierra Leoneans,” Sesay told local and international journalists.

Civil Society Organization as well religious bodies have all condemned the spate of political violence that is meted on APC supporters.

Valnora Edwin, Coordinator for Campaign for Good Governance called on the leadership of the SLPP as well as the President to come out and strongly denounce violence. “Political violence will not only stop with Press Releases,” she said.

She maintained the view that the President must come out and talk to his people otherwise if the ugly situation continues Sierra Leone will remain to be in chaos.